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“Superb hotel, fantastic breakfasts!”

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Hotel Casa del Balam
Ranked #14 of 103 Hotels in Merida
Certificate of Excellence
UK
1 review
“Superb hotel, fantastic breakfasts!”
Reviewed 11 April 2010

The Casa del Balam was our favourite hotel in Mexcio! We stayed here for 3 nights, but wish we could have stayed longer. Merida is a great base for tours, but also a lovely place to relax. The hotel's location is perfect, only a couple of blocks from the main square, and close to bars and restaurants (though the hotel's restaurant is very good).
The rooms are kept spotless, and are spacious - our standard room had two double beds. There are good photos of the rooms on the Different World website (we booked through them and would recommend them - great rates and very helpful). The air conditioning and wifi both worked perfectly. Modern, spotless bathrooms, great showers with plenty of hot water. Towelling robes were provided.
Our kids enjoyed the pool, and the pool area was a pleasant place to relax.
The service at this hotel is excellent - very friendly and staff were always willing to help. We booked a tour through the hotel and everything worked well.
Everything about this hotel was good, but we shall remember the Casa del Balam for the amazing breakfasts! Our family of 5 tried most of the menu during our stay, and everything was excellent. We particularly recommend the "divorced eggs" - two fried eggs with 2 different sauces - fresh fruit, pancakes, granola with yoghurt, and scrambled eggs. With the complimentary warm freshly baked bread and papaya marmalade, and great coffee and juices, this was a great start to the day.
Definitely recommend this hotel - hope we can return soon!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank familyof5Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Gainesville, Florida
2 reviews
Reviewed 30 March 2010

We found this hotel hastily on kayak.com after finding out that the hotel we wanted to stay in was fully booked and we weren't quite sure what to expect. When we first walked in, we were struck with how beautiful the hotel lobby is. Even if you don't stay here, it's just two blocks north of the main plaza and it's worth the walk just to take a peak inside. The rooms were spacious and the staff kept them immaculate, tidied up our things and made sure our coffee was always stocked, and we always had enough bottled water. As pleasant as the hotel is visually, the main reason I would stay here again is the staff. We had not just one, but several people go out of their way to make sure our stay in Merida was as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We were leaving town on Palm Sunday and all the bus ticket counters were closed, but they made sure we got tickets and made it to the station on time. They even held our bags AFTER we had checked out so we could run to get food before our four hour bus ride. As a paying customer staying in a hotel, I expect the staff to be friendly and helpful, but the two Jorges, Vincente, and Rodolfo specifically went above and beyond.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mollydog21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2010

This is a lovely hotel, but just be very careful about the room you get. Most of those in the front are incredibly noisy during the night and throughout the morning -- due to the traffic right outside on a main street. When I was there, the hotel was 75% vacant, so there was absolutely no need for the hotel receptionist to give me such a noisy room. When I complained the next morning that I could not sleep due to the noise (and I am NOT a light sleeper), there was no apology of any sort, which I why I ranked it low on the service side. I have stayed twice on previous trips and did not have such a bad experience, so my advice is: be sure to ask for a room off the streets, and if you can't get one, don't stay there!!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank billygoat33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2010

Hotel Casa Balam

Good Points:
Very central location
Great lobby, with open courtyard, planting that is a cool heaven on a hot day.

Negatives:
Check-in: the receptionist behaved as though I was a nuisance – interrupting his conversation with a co-worker. He supplied no information about the hotel.
The pool looks good but was small and icy cold. I faced the decision about whether to see if it would feel tolerable after getting in, but I decided that this is a holiday and not an endurance test. The men’s changing area didn’t have a bench or hook – just a floor and a wall to lean against.
The advertised internet didn’t work. I reported it 3 times and it was clearly no surprise to the staff. I was eventually loaned a laptop (there is no PC or business centre) and the laptop worked for about 3 minutes before the internet dropped repeatedly and I gave up.
The hotel claims colonial style. There is style in the lobby. My room was in the newer extension, and I would describe it as minimalist with few cheap items of metal work. Not what I expect from a 5 star hotel. The bathroom was basic.
The door to my room was thin and fitted badly: this meant that I was disturbed by guests outside my room and by (the very loud) carnival that went past the front door of the hotel.
There was no desk in my room – just a small round table, but with poor lighting making any work difficult. There were only 3 low energy light bulbs in the whole room, with no bedside light.
No breakfast is included in the price.
The hotel has keys with large wooden tags attached: they have to be handed in and collected each time you come in and out. This gets to be a hassle when reception is busy.
At 6:30pm I found that the tap produced a trickle of lukewarm water.
There was no iron or board in the room. A request to reception produced the response that I should use the laundry service. Hardly the same thing.
There was no coffee maker in the room.

Conclusion
This hotel is expensive for what is provided. The lobby is the strong point. I struggle to identify a second strong point – but losts of negatives. There is better value in Merida, and much better rooms.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Joe_33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2010

We loved this hotel. We stayed in the master suite, it was so romantic.I loved all the antiques and old world charm.The location was wonderful for sight-seeing in Merida. We walked to the museum and shops. The staff was helpful and pleasant. Twice a day a man would dust mop the hallway outside the room. He told me he had been working there thirty-one years. The pool was perfect for relaxing after a day of sight-seeing.

Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Mthetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2009

Casa del Balam is another of these nice-enough hotels with a cute patio in the middle and an air of being an old building while I believe it to be pretty recent.
The lobby is a bit dark (you tend to miss the reception desk when you walk in) and one of the two lifts has sometimes troubles starting but we always got to our floor, the fifth one. On one side the windows of our room were overlooking the pretty University of Yucatan and the Opera buildings (or something like that), but on the other you have a not so nice garage- junkyard; the advantage is that it allows for an open view on the rest of the city (but not much to see anyway).
The room was big and comfortable and could have been so much better it the management decides to replace the white light bulbs with a more soft light, get rid of the fake Greek column holding the TV set and maybe reviewing some of the paintings on the wall. The beds are sufficiently large and comfortable and you do get free wireless internet; the bathroom was spotless and sufficiently spacious.
A downside is that whenever you switch off the AC water condensation starts to form on the ceiling where the AC is located and in few hours you have water all over the floor. The management seemed helpless and suggested that we turn on the AC to avoid it.
Breakfast is served in the patio and service was overall courteous and efficient.
Casa del Balam is strategically located on calle 60, the main artery in the historical centre, only a block away from the main square and a 20 minutes walk from the beautiful museum of anthropology on Paseo de Montejo. There are plenty of restaurants around Casa del Balam, although we found the best ones in town to be rather in the area of the Paseo de Montejo.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ulpio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2009

We visited the lovely city of Merida for the Hanal Pixan festivities (mayan day of the dead). The Casa del Balam is a lovely hotel built around a gracious mansion. he hotel is right next to the lovely theater/opera house and just a couple of blocks from the main square. The rooms were well appointed and the staff was gracious and accomodating. Parking was gratis at a lot just next door. The hotel has a quiet and beautiful courtyard filled with tropical plants that seem to have been there since the old days. With a lovely, secluded pool in the back and a well recommended restaurant and bar, I couldn't have enjoyed my stay more.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank duplicateaccount
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Casa del Balam

Property: Hotel Casa del Balam
Address: Calle 60 # 488 x 57 | Colonia Centro, Merida 97000, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Yucatan > Merida
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Family Hotel in Merida
#20 Romantic Hotel in Merida
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Casa del Balam 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa del Balam is one of the oldest and most distinguished hotels in Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula, it's also one of the few original Mexican Art Deco houses left in the city. The hotel was built in 1970 incorporating facets of the original home of Fernando Barbachano Peon, pioneer of Tourism in Mexico. His daughter, Ms. Carmen Barbachano Gomez Rul (who was also involved on the family business), left the original facade and selected the name of "Casa del Balam" (Mayan words for "house of the jaguar") to honor his father nickname "balam" due to his visionary sharp business mind. Ms. Barbachano was very devoted of the colonial period and decorated the house accordingly. Big wooden furniture, rocking chairs and wrought iron accessories were part of her fine selection. She had envisioned a place where every touch could softly spoke of the serene ambiance of the city, and where friends could be made instead of just mere clients. When looking at the amazing interior of this Casona and experiencing the warm specialized service of its personnel, one can easily understand that Ms. Barbachano did accomplish her desire of uniqueness, and in a very exquisite way! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Del Balam Merida
Casa Balam

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